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Is controlled round feed overated ?
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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Super Member
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:17 pm    Post subject: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

I have read dozens of articles extolling the virtues of the Mauser style controlled round feed actions, especially for dangerous game hunting. Many of them state that with CRF the rifle will even function upside down. So, I was rearranging my gun safe today and decided to do an experiment. I took my Rem 700 .35 Whelen, Ruger 77 .35 Whelen, Rem 700 .270, Rem model 7 .223, and Winchester 70 .30-06 out of the safe. All push feed actions except for the Winchester 70 which is supposed to be CRF (more on that later) . I then fully loaded the magazines, turned them upside down and worked the actions at different speeds from very slow to briskly until the magazines were empty. The results? All functioned flawlessly except the Winchester model 70. The Winchester would consistently jam the last rounds nose against the breech instead of entering the chamber. Another advantage claimed is that with CRF the bolt controls the round from the time it pushs it forwards from the magazine so if the shooter pulls the bolt rearward before going fully forward it wont double feed and cause a jam. I discovered that my Winchester model 70, touted to be a CRF, is a push feed gun when the round is coming from the left side of the staggered box magazine. The claw extractor only engages the cartridge right away when the cartridge is feeding from the right side of the magazine. So its only CRF half the time. I am not knocking the Winchester 70, I like them, and it might not be a fair comparison to only test one CRF rifle but thats the only one I own. Maybe with the Larger magnum calibers in the various Mauser actions there is an advantage. I dont feel the least bit hesitant though, even hunting dangerous game, with the Rem 700.
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

Remingtons have been used for DG hunting in Africa, Asia and Alaska with success. They are, however, more prone to problems in the field than the CRF models offered by CZ, Winchester and Mauser variants. One of the primary advantages of CRF is the size of the extractor and its ability to extract reliably under extremes of weather. Look at the extractor ring on the Remington. It is small in contact area and vulnerable to premature failure.

When guiding, I've had hunters double stroke Remingtons and loose shots on game. I've had two experiences with broken extractors. I've seen three Remington bolts freeze up after a hard rain and a cold night. Ice formed in the bolt and the firing pin couldn't move either forward or backward thus prohibiting it from cocking. With most CRFs, the take down of the bolt is fast and easy and that enables clearing the firing pin and spring of any debris or ice. It takes about one minute to do this.

While not disputing your issues with your particular M70, it is something I have never witnessed or experienced in decades of hunting with them.

Often Remingtons are modified with a Sako extractor to overcome their potential weakness and it is a good modification IMO.

CRF rfles or Sako style extractors dominate DG rifles in Alaska and Africa. If one contacts outfitters, they will often mention brands such as Kimber and Tikka for extreme weather hunting, along with M70s and Mauser variants. These recommendations are based on years of experience, although, not all outfitters support those recommendations nor is CRF needed in most hunting/varminting situations.
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Joined: Nov 25, 2005
Posts: 5906
Location: Southern Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

Well there is alot of things to consider between the action here is a small list of things I've gathered from a gun "expert" which forgot more about guns before his death then I know:

-> They can handle higher pressures then claw feed actions because they support the case better.
-> They are used in almost all semi-automatic rifle designs out there.
-> Accurizing a push feed is alot easyer then a claw feed which can be at times almost impossible. (High Power shooters may disagree).
-> The extractor doesn't fail enough to make it worth it for when they designed the M40 rifle that it was worth putting in a Sako style extractor.

Also about the Sako extractors:

Gale McMillian wrote:
When I designed the Marine M40A1 we considered replacing the extractor but when we researched extractor failure we found it so incidental it wasn't worth considering . The problem with installing the a M16 or Sako extractor is when you blow a primmer it turns to shrapnel

Because of not only Gale's logic on the rifles but just taking and applying in my head his reasoning I can see why he is right so because of that I sort of got sold on Push Feed actions.

Claw feed actions have a use, and they are good rifles don't get me wrong but I've never double stoked a rifle because I always pull the bolt till it "hits" then all the way forward agian so that benifit of them I've never seen in person. Smile


A thousand hills, but no birds in flight, ten thousand paths, with no people's tracks. A lonely boat, a straw-hatted old man, fishing alone in the cold river snow.
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Super Member
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Joined: Jun 12, 2005
Posts: 10454
Location: Ava, Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

Aah...except in Combat...How often to you shoot dangerous game lying on your back and shooting upside down? Just curious here...

I have one nerve left and yer standin' on it...

DEMOCRACY Two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for lunch...
LIBERTY A well armed sheep contesting the outcome of the vote...
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Joined: Mar 05, 2005
Posts: 208
Location: Franktown, CO

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

It depends on what you are hunting and how big a bite it has.

Coyote Hunter
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Arizona Hunter

Joined: Jul 22, 2006
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

When I first looked at a big game rifle I was really into Finn Aagaard articles and since he was a Mauser type guy, I decided to get one, too and have always liked them very much and plan on using them for as long as I can- Love my Interarms Mark X and Swedish Mauser--but I also love my Howa push feed rifle, it sure is fun on prairie dogs and targets.

I guess if I was going on dangerous game hunt I'd feel more comfortable with a Mauser than a push feed type.
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

Ah, Finn Aagaard, I really miss his writing. I too thought a lot of his opinions, which is what turned me on to the .35 Whelen. I was all set to buy a new rifle on my 18th birthday in July of 1992 but was not sure what caliber to buy. I wanted a versatile caliber that I could hunt anything in North America with. In the June 1992 American Rifleman Magazine he wrote an article praising the .35 Whelen, its versatility and knockdown power. A month later I bought a Rem 700 .35 Whelen as a 18th birthday present to myself. Since then I have bought various other rifles but the Whelen is still my go to rifle on serious hunts. It always bothered me a little though that it wasnt CRF, but I never had a problem with any of my push feed rifles so I quit worrying about it.
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Arizona Hunter

Joined: Jul 22, 2006
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

Roklok, sometimes when I think about getting a rifle with more frontal area that is still easy to shoot I always think of the 35 Whelen (and 338 win).

Would you feel comfortable using the 35 Whelen shooting something like an X bullet or A-Frame on big bears?

When Finn passed away I was truly heavy hearted, I felt like my mentor had died, he was and still is my favorite writer (although John Barness is exellent), I still pull out his book once in a while and re-read the articles on various calibers.
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 607
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Is controlled round feed overated ? Reply with quote

I would not hesitate to use the Whelen on the big bears, in fact I hope to this fall. My handloads with 250 grain Nosler Partitions are clocking right at 2550 FPS out of a 22" barrel, only about a hundred FPS less than Rem lists the .338 Win Mag with a 250 gr out of a 24" barrel. Finn used his Whelen (built on a Mauser of course) on a brown bear hunt using the 250 gr Nosler Partition. Finn also stated that the .35 Whelen is the ballistic match of the .350 Rigby Magnum (225gr at 2625 FPS) that gained a great reputation in Africa on dangerous game. Although I have seen brown bears I have never been up close and personal with one yet, I imagine in that situation any rifle might seem a bit small, but I have no doubt that the Whelen can handle it. I am thinking about buying a box of the Swift A-Frame 280 grain and working up a load, From what I read I should get about 2400 FPS with the 280s.
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